Researchers from the University of Westminster were part of an international team who have recently published results from a phase I clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine.

The research showed that the vaccine, a chimpanzee cold virus which carries one of the Ebola proteins, was highly efficient in generating an immune response.

Viruses made at the University of Westminster were used to test the level of antibodies stimulated by the vaccine. When given in conjunction with a booster vaccine, the response was stronger than that seen with other vaccines undergoing clinical trials. The study also showed the antibodies were still detectable at least six months following vaccination.
The research was led by the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford. It was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which is the most highly-cited general medical journal.

One of the researchers involved in the project was Dr Edward Wright, who is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Speaking about the research, he said: “We will never be able to remove the risk of Ebola virus outbreaks occurring but developments such as this will hopefully go some way to limiting the size of future outbreaks. Discoveries like this may also prove useful in tackling the threat posed by other (re-)emerging diseases.”

There has been a great drive to develop diagnostics, drugs and vaccines for Ebola since 2014 and the start of the outbreak that occurred in West Africa.

Find out more about Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster.

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